Free Tax Return Assistance Available to Western Alaska Communities
ANCHORAGE—Coastal Villages Region Fund (CVRF) is continuing its partnership with the Alaska Business Development Center (ABDC) to provide free tax return assistance to residents of the CVRF region through ABDC’s volunteer tax and loan program.
ABDC and CVRF have worked together for 14 consecutive years to facilitate tax return assistance for residents of CVRF’s member communities. CVRF uses earnings from industrial commercial fishing in the Bering Sea to provide funding for volunteer tax preparers to travel to the CVRF region to assist with the preparation of people’s tax returns. Local tax assistance events have been scheduled in all 20 CVRF communities from February 8th to March 2nd. The anticipated dates are as follows*:
Chefornak, February 21-23
Chevak, February 17-23
Eek, February 17-20
Goodnews Bay, February 24-27
Hooper Bay, February 10-16
Kipnuk, February 17-21
Kongiganak, February 27-March 2
Kwigillingok, February 24-27
Mekoryuk, February 8-10
Napakiak, February 20-23
Napaskiak, February 10-14
Newtok, February 15-17
Nightmute, February 28-March 2
Oscarville, February 15
Platinum, February 27-28
Quinhagak, February 10-16
Scammon Bay, February 15-17
Toksook Bay, February 8-10
Tuntutuliak, February 15-17
Tununak, February 24-28
*Dates are subject to change – residents are advised to check with their local community service representatives (CSRs) to confirm scheduling
Coordination for the volunteers’ stay in the communities is provided by CVRF’s local staff members, and lodging for volunteers is provided at CVRF’s Community Service Centers (CSCs) in most cases. Last year, this program led to more than $3.4 million in refunds for the 2017 tax year, and participants completed more than 2,200 tax returns were completed. Other sponsors of the volunteer tax and loan program include the Alaska Division of Economic Development, Denali Federal Credit Union, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, GCI, State Farm Foundation, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, and Wells Fargo.
“Some people come to the CSC and use the internet cafe to file their taxes, but there are many people who are not as familiar with the internet and come every year to see the volunteer tax preparers,” said Dayna Nash, a Community Service Representative for CVRF. “Many of our elders come every year to see the tax volunteers. There are people who can translate the questions in Yup’ik and or Cup’ik and help them fill out the necessary paperwork. Many of the Youth to Work participants also come to the CSC to file their taxes for the first time and after earning paychecks in the summer.”
Additional services are available to region residents through ABDC’s mail-in site. Interested residents are encouraged to visit www.abdc.org/taxforms for more information about the mail-in program.
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